3: AOTA ..Friday..Senior Member Salon, Expo, Presidential Address…
Friday, April 11th, I think.
The day started out early – I met Marc Freedman, who was on the Steering Committee, to discuss some of the “You are the Future” Communications Proposal, at a cute little cafe. We looked at things like Facebook and chat rooms and discussed options. Then we headed to the Hyatt for the Senior Member Salon. I begged him to let me go in his place since I had screwed up on Thursday and I felt so guilty.
It worked out so I sat in on an Intergenerational meeting in the Senior Member Salon, with the session facilitated by Holly Hendryx, who is the AMAZING OT student who was Vice Chairperson of the Steering Committee, and one of my mini-Idols. It was neat talking to older generations that had a lot of advice and experience to share. We (novices and experts) discussed the possibilities of matching up mentors somehow, and also the importance of preserving the memories of older OTs through videos, tapes, letters, etcetera. We may get to do some kind of video booth next year (I say “we” very loosely to mean AOTA, lol), where OTs, especially the older ones, can go in and record little tidbits of their OT lives. I’m a HUGE fan of memory keeping, I guess primarily because my memory is sooo bad, so I’m excited. I know one of my favorite books is by John Carlova called “The Healing Heart” on Ora Ruggles, who was a Reconstructionist aide…precursors to OTs. Read it. Ok off soapbox… We discussed the possibility of some kind of Intergenerational Corps. I thought a Mobius strip or Infinity sign would be a great symbol for this…a never-ending and reciprocal kind of relationship. Two of the power houses behind this Senior Member Salon are Shirley Behr and Mary Taugher. I’ve been in e-mail contact with Mary (after meeting her at the salon) and it was fun. Good job Shirley and Mary!!
Then it was time for the…dum dum dum...PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS….I sat with OT faculty from my school.
Penny Moyers as always did a fantastic job speaking to the crowd. She had a creative entrance and has great public speaking skills. Although I guess I should mention she was preceded by a band that was wildly popular and had a lot of OTs dancing in the aisles and conga-lining it everywhere. OTs have no problems shaking their badunkadunks.
In the speech, besides the classic annual conference speech foundation stuff, she discussed a partnership between AOTA and AARP with its Homefit Guide, which seems like pretty big news, I haven’t researched it further. I have to say here that there were at least four people within my vicinity eating bananas as she talked. Somehow her speech inspired fruit, because I watched as multiple OTs rummaged in their bags for bananas and apples. That amused me more than the average person could ever imagine. Also…P. Mo unveiled the new sparkling brand words of AOTA. She did a great job building it up with suspenseful music and everything, although I have to say, “Living Life to its Fullest” doesn’t exactly set off firecrackers in my spine. And I’m not alone. Perhaps the slogan will grow on me. As the words were unveiled, silver balloons with the slogans printed on them, came busting down from the rafters, it was fun to watch.
I jotted down notes throughout the address, but this note puzzles me “hahhaha saundra”. I have no idea why I wrote that. Hmmm. That’s what I get for waiting weeks before writing up my notes.
I enjoyed her speech a lot but I think she travels in a Pope-Mobile (a P. MObile) because I never saw her except on stage. Which means I didn’t get her autograph. Which means my world has ended. (A really funny joke would be if you were a surgeon doing skin grafts and you were like, hey patient, give me your autograft…. ha ha ha ha ha….) Ok. P. Mo, if you are reading this, which is probably when flying penguins fly for real instead of just as an April’s Fool Joke I fell for because I’m stupid, my life will not be FULL – I cannot live life to its fullest – until I have this autograph. Just sayin’.
Oh glorious Expo, what more can I say. This is the part that excited me most based on the stories from the OT students who went last year. Tales of office supply gluttony abounded. The expo WAS pretty massive with tons of booths and things going on. Networking, advertising, demonstrations….luckily most booths had mini scanners to put on your name badges so you wouldn’t have to keep writing your address down. Which is good, because one of my pet peeves is writing out my address.
There was lots of free stuff – pens, post it notes, pins, candy, duffel bags, mints…one of the cutest things was a dancing robot dude (he entertained the entire OT class when he returned and was taken to class). I even got two free Tangles, which made me sooo happy because I have an obsession with Tangles (anti-fidget toys that I’ve seen in action). A lot of booths didn’t appeal to me at all so I tried not to steal their stuff when that was the case. Exhibitors were very nice and it was clear everyone was desperate to hire OTs!
I learned the meaning of Snoezelen (Dutch for sleep/rest from what I understand), and that those glowing horse tails can be messed with and not just stared at. I saw new ways to get socks/compression stockings off…Sock Eez…new ways to wear compression garments that are a lot easier to deal with….some really funky art…some neat adaptive clothing with snaps for people who have trouble dressing or need easy access….some neat OT videos being done for work with kids with autism…I saw a few booths clearly state on their papers that the hiring salary was around 72K…wow. One booth had really neat OT pins made using puzzle pieces, beads/buttons, and glazes/pin backs. I think actual patients had made them and they were a good idea
Some links based on what I just said:
Britt Collins, TRP Yoga – DVDs, yoga, www.trpyoga.com – does the autism videos
BlickArt – plasticky black masks, tons of extra awesome art supplies, I want them sooo bad.
Ok…my favorite booth ended up being NeuroCom’s…but I need to begin a new post. Post 4 coming up.